“God seeps through the cracks.”
I heard that statement today. I thought it profound; wish that I had originated it (there is my pride); and wondered why I had never heard it before (I thought I knew everything!).
It struck me as so true…at least in my life and I can only speak for myself.
When I have thought that I had it “all together,” when I’d cruised in my spiritual pilgrimage, my heart tended to harden as if it had been plastered over. It hardened slowly…undetected by my increasingly numbed spiritual radar. Ultimately I deluded myself as I subtly relished my self-sufficiency and amazed myself with my “strength.”
I was never overt about it, of course–even to myself. I did not recognize it. It was a subtle pride that had the face of humility. No one knew, and I did not even know myself. The heart is truly decitful above everything else. I am amazed at how often I don’t understand my own journey, motives, and desires.
The signs of my increasing apathy were obvious…in hindsight. Rushed prayer time, skipping morning meditations, only exegeting Scrpture rather than savoring it, decreased patience in relationships, more interested in accomplishments than in transformation, etc., etc., etc. There were always many indicators but none were recognized as spiritual lethargy. This was especially dangerous when I was not living in community and sharing myself with others. As my heart grew callous, I would withdraw or isolate but in ways that were not obvious to others or even to myself. If I even noticed, I sacrificed it on the altar of “busyness,” or fatigue, or intrusions by others, or…well, there are many excuses, aren’t there?
But then it would happen. Several times in my life it has happened with a thunderous crash but at other times it has been a stumble in my gait. Brokenness–tragedy or sin or both–would enter my life. It seems that only brokenness gets my attention; only brokenness arrests my degeneration. My heart grows so hard that only breaking it opens up the possibilities for divine grace, power and renewal.
Grief has broken my spirit at times, sometimes in titanic ways. Sitting with Job, I could cry “My spirit is broken” in the midst of loss, despair and hurt (Job 17:1a).
Sin has broken my spirit at times, sometimes in titanic ways. Sitting with David, I have experienced the humility of guilt and wept as “my sin [was] always before me” (Psalm 51:3b).
But God seeps through the cracks.
The broken heart provides the spaces into which God’s love, compassion and comfort can at first trickle into and then rush into my heart. Plastered and sealed my heart resists the flow God’s presence, but broken God pours his love through the cracks. The seepage becomes a mighty river flowing from the heart of God into my heart, healing its wounds. Once broken, but now repaired, my heart now participates–ever so slowly and so imperfectly–in the likeness of God’s own heart. There–in that process–I experience peace.
It seems my life has been a cycle of peace, then pride, then brokenness, then–by the grace of God–peace again. I’ve grown through that cycle. It has been painful. I would not choose it. I wish there were a different way. The peace does not come easily, quickly or painlessly. But the peace is beyond understanding and it holds a joy that is inexpressible.
Today I feel the healing. Today I feel the joy. Today God is binding my wounds.
“[Yahweh] heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds” (Psalm 147:3).